Sennheiser is releasing the third version of its premium Momentum Wireless headphones. The German manufacturer turns on the right screws and not only improves sound and comfort but also gets the active noise cancelling really well.
Because good things can still be done a little better, Sennheiser has not developed a brand new premium active noise reduction (ANC) Bluetooth headset but has improved its noble momentum for the second time. It was worthwhile, as n-tv.de found out in a detailed everyday test. Except for a little weak stamina, the Momentum 3 convinces almost completely.
More comfortable than the predecessor
You have to look twice before you can see the differences to the predecessor. The headset has largely retained its distinctive design with stainless steel hangers, sliding shells and leather upholstery. The most noticeable is the softer cushions on the hanger with the outside closed. Because Sennheiser has also made the mussels a bit more generous, almost invisibly, the headphones are now even more comfortable than their predecessors. After a couple of hours, the handlebars of the stirrup and larger ears felt a bit cramped under the soft leather upholstery. That’s not the case for the around 400 Euro expensive Momentum 3 anymore.
Only the infinitely movable shells can still be a bit annoying because they are too easily adjusted. So you have to readjust often when you put them off and on again or the headset collides with a headrest. Sennheiser still has room for the next generation here.
More practical operation
Even at second glance, you can see the new buttons on the right auricle, which the German manufacturer has done quite well. There are three keys for playback in the middle, the middle one being felt by a knob. This could have been a bit bigger, but after a few failed attempts, the finger knows where to press.
Underneath, sits some distance from the power switch, which also serves to pair the headphones and call a digital assistant. There is a slider above the control buttons to toggle active noise cancellation on and off. Pulled down, it interrupts the playback and lets through external sounds, for example, to understand announcements.
Also new and practical: If you take off the headphones, the music pauses until you put it back on. The feature also saves power, which may be necessary for the Momentum reissue on very long trips. For more than 17 hours the headphones will not last. Usually, this is not a problem, among other things because the battery is charged rather quickly via USB-C. But compared to other Bluetooth headphones with ANC, this is not a great achievement.
The small battery weakness you forgive the Momentum 3 Wireless but happy if you listen to music with him. None of the competitors sounds better at the moment. The Sony WH-1000XM3 comes close, but is not quite as transparent and defined as the new Sennheiser. Its 42-millimetre transducers deliver strong, yet differentiated basses, which come down very deep, but also get a seamless transition to the famous mids. Float above clean, clear heights.
All this presents the new momentum on perhaps the widest stage that can be found in this price range. And if you are not completely satisfied with the neutral basic setting, the associated Smart Control App offers an intuitive equalizer for customization. The headphones’ claim is also evident in the frequency range, which ranges from 6 Hz (Hz) to 22 kHz (kHz). Most competitors are satisfied with 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Of course, such a headphone supports high-quality Bluetooth transmissions via aptX or AAC.
Good noise cancellation
Sennheiser has made progress in active noise cancellation. It does not work as effectively as the Sony WH-1000XM3, but it is not far away. The noise suppression affects the sound inaudible to slight background noise and the Momentum 3 has a huge advantage over other ANC headphones: If you touch him with a shell in the plane a pillow or the headrest, it remains silent, the outside noise only penetrate a bit stronger. Especially with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, it’s completely different. With him, one has almost the feeling to have ANC deactivated if the headphone has contact with the seat.
However, there are no automatic adjustments or numerous ANC gradations in the Momentum 3, only maximum, anti-wind or anti-pressure. You have to set this in the app, on the headphone itself you can only turn ANC on or off. However, this simplicity also has its appeal and is often more practical and efficient in daily life than more complex ANC systems.
Sound King, but not unrivalled
All in all, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 is the ANC Bluetooth headphone for connoisseurs that leaves the competition behind in terms of sound. He is a very high quality and looks good. Sony’s WH-1000XM3 sounds a little worse and is more versatile and enduring. The best value for money is still provided by the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (around 260 euros). A comparison with Moses also 400 euro expensive new 700 Noise Canceling Headphones would be interesting, n-tv.de has not been able to test the US challenger yet.